Attorney Gregg Jarrett cautioned President Donald Trump about one of his potential choices for Attorney General.
The Fox News legal analyst weighed in on a Washington Post report claiming that Trump was eyeing former attorney general William P. Barr to take the lead at the Department of Justice.
Speaking on Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on Thursday, Jarrett warned the president that his top choice to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a Washington insider.
“As for William Barr, yes unquestionable integrity, a fine reputation, great experience – he brings gravitas to the job but he is an establishment figure at a time when I think we need a disruptor as Attorney General,” Jarrett told host Lou Dobbs.
“Somebody who would vigorously go after corrupt officials at the FBI and Department of Justice who were abusing their positions of power and attempting to undermine democracy,” he added.
“I’m afraid Barr is not that guy,” Jarrett concluded.
No decisions have been announced as of yet about the 68-year-old Barr, who served as United States Attorney General from 1991-1993 under the late President George H.W. Bush. Currently, Matthew Whitaker is serving as Acting Attorney General following Sessions’ departure last month and could also be considered for the position as is Texas Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe, a member of the Freedom Caucus.
According to the Washington Post:
Democrats want assurances the department’s next leader will resist political pressure from the White House; Republicans want assurances the department will operate investigations in an evenhanded fashion toward members of both parties.
Barr’s past statements about the Russia probe, in which he has questioned the political tilt of Mueller’s team, could give some Democrats fodder to attack Barr’s nomination, but several Republican operatives who support Barr for the position noted he once worked alongside Mueller in the Justice Department and said his track record from the Bush administration should ease any Democratic concerns that the department would see its independence eroded.
“The establishment thing really does worry everybody,” Dobbs remarked on Thursday’s broadcast, as he asked if it is even possible for the president to “get a non-establishment figure through the Senate.”
Former Deputy Attorney General Tom Dupree noted that it would prove challenging to get all GOP lawmakers on board with any of Trump’s choices but felt that Barr would be able to provide the president with “sound advice” if he is appointed.
That nomination process alone could take months, leaving Whitaker in the position until a successor to Sessions is appointed.
“Democrats are going to vote against whomever the president nominates,” Jarrett noted, saying it didn’t really matter whose name Trump puts forth.
But the never-ending investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller would come under the direct oversight of that final pick, unlike Sessions who recused himself at the outset of his job. And an establishment insider might, as Jarrett suggested, be less likely to take on the swamp in Washington, D.C.
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